Lightning forward Steven Stamkos left Sunday's game against the Predators with a lower-body injury and the team announced he will not return. Stamkos ranks among the elite, and that should result in a quick turnaround in terms of the team shedding more light on his injury. So, through that lens, our Cup contenders are right around where you want them - not real high, which is good, but high enough so that you know they can play it physical when the going gets tough in the playoffs. "They had a meeting".
The Predators want to quickly put the loss to Buffalo behind them and avoid back-to-back regulation losses for the second time second time in the past 21 games. "I think these upcoming games, they bring the emotions out, especially with the distance in the standings between us and Boston and what it has been". There was no update on Stamkos after the game but head coach Jon Cooper said the Lightning are expected to provide one Monday.
"We don't like to lose games, that's bottom line", Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman said.
If the Lightning are to win that Atlantic Division, it is mission-critical that they defeat the Boston Bruins at Amalie Arena on Tuesday night.
While we don't want to strain the edges of gossip amidst ongoing speculation, one can not help but wonder about the potential ramifications of Stamkos' departure, especially if his lower-body ailment continues to serve as a recurring issue.
The Predators doubled their lead early in the second with one second remaining on a power paly as Forsberg's shot deflected off the stick of Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman and trickled through Vasilevskiy's pads at 2:46.
Chasing down Boston is on the Lightning's agenda heading down the final week of the season and is in the middle of a stretch of four emotionally charged games, including the matchup with Nashville. The Predators extend their lead, 2-0. It's not as easy to do, of course, but everybody passes this test, too, with the nearly.500 Bruins and Lightning the most impressive. "It's not like they are spending an ounce of time in our zone, they just go down and find open space".
Nashville leading goal-scorer LW Viktor Arvidsson missed the game with an undisclosed lower-body injury.
NOTES: Tampa Bay RW Ryan Callahan returned to the lineup after missing five games with an upper-body injury. The difference in the game may well have been a very debatable goalie interference call against Anthony Cirelli that waved off a goal by Alex Killorn that could have made the score 3-3. Forsberg is the second player in franchise history to reach 60 points three different times, joining J.P. Dumont.